By: Faryal Gul Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karachi
I am a student of mathematics. Everyone studies this subject at least once in their life-time. So, we are all well-acquainted with what the subject is about. There is one thing that mathematics teaches us... something very deep.
For me, it has been more than 13 years since I worked on finding the first ever ‘solution’ for any mathematical ‘problem’. Then I solved more and more… so much that I was promoted to the next grade. Then I was introduced to a higher level ‘problems’. I aced them. I was promoted to another grade. The cycle went on and on… I worked on questions, solved them, practiced them, prepared for exams and went up to the next grade. And here I am today, studying in 11th grade, but you know what? I am still busy finding that ‘x’. Now, the case is the same for ‘problems’ whose ‘solutions’ we look for in life.
As we open our eyes in this world, we are introduced to this ‘x’… this unknown ‘variable’ that varies from grade to grade in its type and level of problems. I know this is a bit confusing, so when I say ‘problem’, I mean ‘desire’ and when I say ‘solution’, I mean ‘achieving it’. This cycle goes on and on. This grows, too, with time. This ‘x’ is basically sort of satisfaction and peace that we crave for in our lives. We assume that by fulfilling a particular desire of ours, we will be satisfied. And that’s true, but this satisfaction does not last for long. We soon face yet another ‘problem’. And the x still remains unknown.
When we face any problem, any desire in our life why do we try to sort it out? Why do we just simply ‘not care’ and let everything happen spontaneously? No, we can’t. But why? Because it isn’t alright and satisfactory if I don’t top in the class; it isn’t okay if I want to eat burger when mum’s made simple food; it isn’t peaceful if I want a bungalow and I don’t buy it… and because of these desires, we keep moving on. We keep solving issues, get instantaneous satisfaction and jump to another question from a never-ending list of desires. But you see, with every passing grade, the type of questions that we need to attempt to pass the grade get more and more complicated. This is our nafs that gets dirtied as it indulges more into worldly comforts.
Mathematics always gives you an option to drop it as a subject and opt for other subjects at SSC, HSSC and undergraduate level. Similarly, there is always an option to drop the course ‘Running After World’ and start the subject ‘Jannah Is The Goal’. Wake up before you close your eyes forever. No one is going to help us once we die. Allah says in the Quran ‘they will then confess their sins: but far will be (forgiveness) from the companions of the blazing fire!’ (Al Mulk, verse no 11).